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Tuesday Random Thoughts and Picks

- Obviously the 'Cats are in very bad shape for the NCAAs after the loss to Iowa, so I won't be linking to the various weekly bracket projections as I can't imagine anyone actually thinking Northwestern is currently a viable candidate. Eamonn Brennan of ESPN did mention Northwestern in his summary of the mock NCAA selection committee, but not in a good way:

4. Sorry, Northwestern. If you thought the selection committee was going to give Northwestern special consideration as an at-large this year, you're wrong, and that goes for any team with a compelling story or history to make. When this came up in committee, NCAA vice president of basketball strategies Greg Shaheen says that same question comes up in the real committee, and told us that committee members are directed to ignore outside factors like Northwestern's historical failure to reach the NCAA tournament. The committee, he said, "is not here to make history," but to seed the best 65 teams in the tournament. The committee is human, so one can imagine its members occasionally (and perhaps unconsciously) bending this rule, but sorry, Northwestern fans. No special love for you.

This is really obvious and shouldn't have needed to be said; unfortunately there has been speculation here and there about the 'Cats getting a sympathy bid. Hopefully that nonsense will finally be put to rest.

- I recently discovered a fantastic Minnesota blog called Down with Goldy. I always enjoy reading other Big Ten blogs, and this one is quickly climbing to the top of my favorites list. Anytime you combine solid analysis with pictures of scantily clad college girls, you've got my support.

-  I'm coming off my first ever winless week since I started picking games, so tonight we turn things around.

Michigan State at Indiana (+11), 6 PM central. ESPN

Indiana has stunk it up in 3 straight games, but Michigan State hasn't been good enough on the road this year for me to want to go against my never give double digit points on the road in Big Ten play rule.

Pick: Indiana

Michigan at Iowa (+4), 8 PM, central, BTN

Despite Michigan's strong showing at Minnesota last week, I really don't think I should have to give points when taking Michigan on the road.

Pick: Iowa

Overall record: 33-29-2
Northwestern games: 13-3